Listen to your life. All moments are key moments. 

—Frederick Buechner

Be honest with yourself. When was the last time you sat and just had a real, live conversation with someone else, in which you took turns and genuinely listened to what they said? No devices. No TV. No music. No distractions. 

No wonder it’s so hard for us to listen to God. 

As we read in Habakkuk 1, he boldly asked God all the really hard questions that were on his heart. It’s hard to love someone—even the Creator of the Universe—if you’re holding grudges and hiding your true feelings. Habakkuk clearly loved God, but that didn’t keep him from respectfully challenging God with a request to help him understand the huge gap between what he believed and what he saw all around him. 

Once the prophet had finished asking his questions, he knew it was time to listen. The same is true for you. Habakkuk wrote, “I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint” (Habakkuk 2:1 NIV, emphasis mine). I love these images. I will stand at my watch and look to see what God will say to me. Sometimes the reason we’re not getting answers to our questions is that we’re not willing to pause and wait long enough for God to reveal himself to us. 

The writer of Psalm 46:10 quotes God: “Be still, and know that I am God.” 

Notice what God did not say: “Be busy, and know that I am God.” 

He said, “Be still.” Be. Still. And listen. 

How do you actually listen to God? You can open his Word and let his Spirit bring truth to life. God speaks through circumstances, if you pause long enough to reflect. He speaks through people, offering divine wisdom from heaven. And he can speak directly to you through his Spirit. When you belong to him, spend time with him, and quiet yourself before him, you will learn to recognize his voice. 

Maybe you’ve been asking God for what you need. That’s perfectly reasonable; God wants us to reach out to him. But are you willing to listen to what he has to say to you, even if his answer isn’t what you want to hear? Keep listening. God will not abandon you in your time of need; he will tenaciously hold you close and carry you through your pain. 

Pray: God, I’m ready to listen. What are your plans in this situation? How can I grow through this?

12Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O Lord, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction.mighty…: Heb. rockestablished: Heb. founded

13Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he? Habakkuk 1:12-13 KJV

1I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.

Habakkuk 2:1 KJV

9He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.

10Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

11The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Psalms 46:9-11 KJV

6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Philippians 4:6 KJV

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

John 10:27-28 KJV

4But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Matthew 4:4

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